By Alex Stevens

Paul Lambert has been installed as the new bookmakers’ favourite to be the next Celtic manager.

The odds on the former Blackburn and Aston Villa manager taking over at the Scottish giants have dramatically shortened in the last few hours.

Sky Bet make former Celtic midfielder Lambert the 4/6 favourite to replace Ronny Deila, who announced last week that he will leave Parkhead at the end of the season. His closest rival is Brendan Rodgers, who is 5/1 to take over at the Scottish giants

Glaswegian Lambert is available after activating a clause in his contract earlier on Thursday to leave Ewood Park, just six months after taking charge of the English Championship outfit.

Lambert, who started his managerial career at Livingston before going on to take charge of Wycombe, Colchester, Norwich and Aston Villa, was immediately installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Deila.

“Ronny has done ever so well and I’m not in a position to say I’ll go for the Celtic job or not,” Lambert told Sky Sports News on Thursday. “I’m not like that as a person. I’m not in a position to do anything other than try to win two games for Blackburn.

“There’s some great managers out there. I haven’t thought about anything other than try to win these two games. I know all the speculation would start but at this moment Ronny is doing a good job up there and hopefully they go and win that league.”

Celtic currently hold a nine-point advantage over Aberdeen with four games of the campaign remaining.

Former Scotland midfielder Lambert won ten trophies as a player, including four league titles and three Scottish Cups as well as being part of Martin O’Neill’s UEFA Cup finalists.

Tthe 46-year-old retains a great deal of affection for the Hoops.

“I had a brilliant time there and I have so much respect for the players that play there because I know it is a really hard club to play with,” he told Sky Sports News. “You have to carry the expectation level and I was lucky to play with some great players at a time where the club was absolutely flying.

“It’s a great club, fantastic fan base but I will never criticise anybody for being in that job. Whoever gets the Celtic job will be at a great club.”

Celtic have also been linked with a host of other managers with vast Premier League experience including Rodgers, but Deila has warned any potential successor taking on the Hoops job that it will be no walk in the park even for those who have managed high profile clubs.

In other Celtic news, Deila has outlined the two main reasons he has found life in Scotland too difficult.